[Advaita-l] Shankara authenticates Shiva as the son of Brahma

D Gayatri dgayatrinov10 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 14 15:40:09 CDT 2016

> So, Shankara uses the masculine for that entity, yaksham, now revealed as
> Brahman (neuter). So, there is nothing wrong in Indra understanding Uma as
> the consort of Ishwara.

If the Ishwara is Shiva, neuter gender cannot be used *at all*. It is
Indra who has used neuter gender when talking to Uma. The fact that
Indra uses neuter gender is significant. There is no way Indra could
have thought that Uma was associated with a male companion, since he
has used neuter gender to refer to the yaksha.

The use of masculine, Atm;a (mandukya 7th mantra),
> feminine 'devatā' (chandogya 6th chapter) and neuter 'Brahman' (Br.up.
> 1.4.10 aham brahma asmi) are just a few examples where all three genders are
> used across the upanishads to denote the Ultimate Truth.

Do you mean Shankara is referring to nirguNa brahman (ultimate truth)
when he uses sarvajna Ishwara? Then Shiva, as the husband of Uma, is
ruled out because nirguNa brahman is nobody's husband.

 In fact Shankara
> cites a Jabala upanishad where occurs 'tvam  vā ahamasmi devate (sambodhana
> for feminine), aham vai tvamasi' in the nirguna brahma context of
> realization.

But we are not talking about nirguNa brahman here. We are talking of
Shiva who is very much masculine.

> In the famous chandogya tat tvam asi, the other part of the sentence is: tat
> satyam, sa ātmā tat tvam asi. Here, the sentence starts with the subject
> tat, satyam, in neuter and says, sa ātmā, in the masculine. This is
> explained as, since the Tat is taught as the self, atmā, the masculine is
> used.

Yes, masculine, feminine, neuter can all be used when referring to
nirguNa brahman, but here we are talking of Shiva and not nirguNa

> Shankara's comment for the earlier mantra: अथवा उमैव हिमवतो दुहिता हैमवती
> नित्यमेव सर्वज्ञेनेश्वरेण सह वर्तत इति ज्ञातुं समर्थेति कृत्वा तामुपजगाम ।
> Also denotes a masculine 'Ishwara'. Indra thought 'Because Umā is forever
> with the Sarvajna Ishwara, therefore (the particle 'iti' has that meaning,
> iti kāraṇāt), she will know the identity of the yaksham. This, Shankara
> gives as an alternative meaning, after having first said 'Vidyā, knowledge,
> appeared there in the feminine form of Uma.' So, even if Umā is not vidyā
> itself, yet by her very eternal association with the Omniscient Ishwara she
> knows' that is the thinking of Indra, according to Shankara.

If Indra really thought of a masculine Ishwara, he would not have used
the neuter gender when asking about the yaksha to Uma. Indra would
have asked about a masculine yaksha. The fact that Indra asks about a
neutral Yaksha shows that Indra never thought this Ishwara was
masculine. Hence, there is no way this Ishwara could be Shiva. Indra's
very own question proves that.

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